Mercury spikes as evidence of extended arc-volcanism around the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary in the South Tian Shan (southern Uzbekistan).

Published on Mar 11, 2021in Scientific Reports3.998
· DOI :10.1038/S41598-021-85043-6
Michał Rakociński14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Silesia in Katowice),
Agnieszka Pisarzowska10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Silesia in Katowice)
+ 3 AuthorsNuriddin Abdiyev
Recently, the end-Devonian mass extinction (Hangenberg Crisis, 359 Ma) was identified as a first-order mass extinction, albeit not one of the "Big Five" events. Many marine and terrestrial organisms were affected by this crisis. The cause of this mass extinction is still conjectural and widely discussed. Here we report anomalously high mercury (Hg) concentrations from the South Tian Shan (Uzbekistan), together with correlation using conodont biostratigraphic data. Hg enrichment (to 5825 ppb) was detected in marine deposits encompassing the Hangenberg Crisis. In the Novchomok section, the Hangenberg Crisis interval does not contain typical Hangenberg Black Shales; however, by means of inorganic geochemistry (enrichment of redox-sensitive elements such as Mo, V, and U) we detected an equivalent level despite the lack of marked facies changes. This is the first record of Hg and Hg/total organic carbon anomalies in marly shales, marls and carbonates that are totally independent of facies changes, implying that volcanism was the most probable cause of the Hangenberg Crisis. This conclusion is confirmed by the presence of a negative δ13C excursion, which may reflect massive release of isotopically light carbon from volcanogenic and thermogenic devolatilization likely combined with increased arc-volcanism activity worldwide at the end of the Devonian.
#1Claudia Spalletta (UNIBO: University of Bologna)H-Index: 9
#2Carlo Corradini (UniTS: University of Trieste)H-Index: 15
Last. Corrado Venturini (UNIBO: University of Bologna)H-Index: 4
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#2Angelo MossoniH-Index: 5
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#1Jun Shen (China University of Geosciences (Wuhan))H-Index: 88
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#2Haryun KimH-Index: 3
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#1Jun Shen (China University of Geosciences (Wuhan))H-Index: 23
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Abstract Mercury (Hg) concentration enrichments have become a widely used proxy for volcanic inputs to sediments, especially for investigation of ancient large igneous province (LIP) eruptions. Its application for this purpose requires normalization to an element representing the dominant host phase of Hg–generally total organic carbon (TOC) for the organic fraction, but occasionally total sulfur (TS) or aluminum (Al) for the sulfide or clay fractions, respectively. Hg studies generally assume a...
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#1Agnieszka Pisarzowska (University of Silesia in Katowice)H-Index: 10
#2Michał Rakociński (University of Silesia in Katowice)H-Index: 14
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#1Grzegorz Racki (University of Silesia in Katowice)H-Index: 32
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Cited By3
#1Markus Aretz (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 17
#2Carlo Corradini (UniTS: University of Trieste)H-Index: 15
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This article compiles data on the Devonian-Carboniferous Boundary successions from countries and regions, which have not been dealt with separately in this special issue. Data derive from different palaeocontinents on a large palaeoclimatic gradient from the southern high latitudes of western Gondwana through the palaeotropics into the temperate/boreal northern latitudes of Siberia. The quality of the data is variable, but often surprisingly good, although major uncertainties can persist and tra...
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